Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Review – JESUS MANIFESTO - Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola

Have we lost Jesus? What is the consequence of losing Jesus?

The answer to the first question is “almost” and to the second, “everything!”

JESUS MANIFESTO is to me a timely Book, a Now Book in a time where Christians did almost everything, sometimes wonderfully efficient, without clearly giving glory to Jesus who is everything we existed for! This book sets me free from knowing there is much more about Jesus that I don’t even realise. So much I thought I know and then comes this spoiler! Jesus Christ is so simple to understand yet so profound to grasp. It is so easy to learn about Jesus, yet so difficult to study Him.

Throw out WWJD, reject imitating Christ and start to embrace the imparting of an implanted Christ in all of us. Those were revolutionary thoughts to me. Sometimes it is so comfortable to do everything we know and are familiar with. JESUS MANIFESTO invites us to go where most of us would resist, like just doing what the Father asks us to do. Is that difficult? Seems like it. This is because we cinch it. We have everything under control. Take away that control, pry open our grip, we may find ourselves shoving and kicking in disagreement.

One of the most compelling messages for me in this book is that the church is Jesus Christ in corporate expression (Pg. 143). Before I am lost into the mysterious world of the Person of Jesus Christ, I am awakened to that familiar word I grew up in. So much so that the authors want to restore the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ, they hit the nail in bringing out the community called church which we can express ourselves. They put it succinctly; Jesus Christ cannot be separated from His church (Pg. 141).

Clearly, I am mesmerised quite a lot by this Book as I am seeking Christ more and more in these trying times. But to those who stroll through their Christian walk casually may find this Book a little bit boring.

I give 4 stars to this Book.

Disclaimer: Jesus Manifesto was provided free to me by Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze program for the purpose of this review.


  1. The authors do not have the power to restore God to His position of supremacy, which He never lost btw. The teaching they are making so much money off of is written very clearly in the Bible to begin with. Jesus is the Lord walking in the midst of the lampstands and He is constantly disciplining the various churches. That they may have become more like Sardis and Laodicea than Philadelphia is an issue that He is very much involved with. that so many churches no longer hear his rebuke is a frigthening thing for them. He will deal with it.
    I have read 'Pagan Christianity' which was good but again nothing new was really in there. If one has been properly discipled then the pagan roots of modern christianity is a part of church history. I won't pay for another of Frank's books because I feel it is quite literally just a repackaging of Ravenhill and others with a tinge of fivefold ministry rhetoric thrown in for seasoning served on a plate of church history 101. I hate to be so blatant but I am certain that the organic church movement is far into being taken for a ride by the 'buy my next book crowd' and I can't in good conscience go along on that journey.
    The Lord intends to bless us all beyond what we can ask or think, but we need faithful workers who pass on their knowledge through mentorship so that our students surpass us in the power of God. Of making many books there is no end. I was initially impressed with Mr. Viola and others in the organic church movement but quickly came to see them as super-apostles of a teaching that is not new, it just seems new because the church is in a post-modern phase. In every generation there is a new crop of teachers running around selling books that their fathers already read from a different author.

    May the Lord continue to bless you in the knowledge of Him.

  2. Dear Hagnismos

    Tks for dropping by. I agreed with you that there is nothing new under the sun. Maybe I am too drastic in saying that we almost lost Jesus. I am concerned about things are going in many churches in this part of the world (Asia) and I believe too in the Western world that we are beginning to see comformity to the world's standards, trying to be excellent, efficient, awesomeness of ministry. It is alright to be relevent but to have relevance and losing Jesus (here I go again) is no good. In fact, we are seeing church of Ephesus (Revelation) more and more these days. I thank you for your point of view but I think we need a word/s of alligment back to the PERSON of JESUS CHRIST in these last days!

  3. Ronnie,

    Thanks for you review. I love books and don't have time to waste reading bad ones. I love your passion.

    Also, Thank you for linking to my blog. I truly appreciate it.

    You have my best regards,

    Leadership Freak
    Dan Rockwell

  4. Tks for your comments. Love to read your LF's blog. So much I have learned as a leader from you which I am still poor at. Tks again for visiting.